“A Doll’s House” is a play by Henrik Ibsen is about Nora Helmer, a woman who once secretly borrowed a large sum of money so that her husband, Torvald, could recover from a serious illness. She never told him of this loan and had to secretly pay it back in small amounts, using her allowance for the house. Nora’s husband thinks of her as careless and immature and refers to her as his doll. When he is chosen as a bank director, his first act is to relieve Krogstad, a man who was looked down upon for his criminal behavior.
He happens to be the same man Nora borrowed the money from and then it becomes known that she forged her father’s signature in order to get all the money. Krogstad threatens to reveal Nora’s wrongdoing so Nora has to convince her husband not to fire him. Nora tries to persuade her husband not to, but he does not take Nora seriously especially with advice and opinion about money and business. Thus, when Torvald discovers that Nora has forged her father’s name, he is ready to disclaim his wife even though she had done it for him.
Later when all is solved, Nora sees that her husband is not worth her love and she leaves him. Identifying the theme of a passage is like asking “What did the main character learn? ” The theme is the message or idea the author is trying to share with the reader. Themes in this story, including deception of appearance, the power of money, and the role of men and women all play a role in teaching us about who the main character is. The theme(s) of a passage allows the reader to learn valuable life lessons.
Characters experience specific events to shape these themes. The first impressions of the main characters including Nora, Torvald, and Krogstad are very skewed when compared to their true character once everything is revealed by the end of the play. At first, it seem that Nora is very child-like, but later on we learn that she is intelligent and independent. Torvald is introduced as a strong, compassionate husband, when in reality is selfish and narrow-minded. When he fears that Krogstad may expose him to scandal.
Krogstad reveals himself to be a much more sympathetic and merciful character than he first appears to be. The true colors of each character are shown a the climax of the storyline. It becomes apparent that “Krogstad is an earnest lover, Nora is an intelligent, brave woman, and Torvald as a simpering, sad man,” (SparkNotes. com). In addition to the deception of appearance, the issue with money and power is also a clear theme in this play. From the start, every character has a different financial status and it contributes to who they are.
For example, Nora showed no sign of sympathy for her friends who struggle with money and further, Nora requests money from Torvald for Christmas as a way to get money to make a payment on her loan. Nora’s debt to Krogstad also gives him power over her, so she must careful with what she says and does. Mrs. Linde is another character who struggled with money and power because she needed money for her family so she was forced to marry a man with money despite the idea that she was in love with another man, Krogstad.
The relationship between Nora and Torvald shows a lot about the deception of appearance. “One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him,” (Ibsen, __). This quote is when Nora is telling Mrs. Linde about the situation and explaining how she would only think about telling Torvald about the secret loan she took in order to save his life.
Nora said she would tell him when she gets older because she would be less attractive. This is important in showing Nora’s warped sense in what a true marriage should be like. She is able to see that Torvald’s love for her is mainly based on her looks, and she understands that as she gets older, her husband’s attraction will lessen. She then suggests that she’ll need something to threaten Torvald with so that she will be able to keep Torvald around. This also shows that Nora is not as ignorant as she is cut out to be. “I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald.
That’s how I’ve survived. You wanted it like that. You and papa have done me wrong. It’s because of you I’ve made nothing of my life,” (Ibsen, __). The way Torvald treated Nora throughout their entire relationship morphed her into the same rag doll her papa made her. She spent her whole life just existing for men’s pleasure. This is when Nora’s true character is revealed; she is capable of living a normal life because she is smart and able but her ability had always been masked by the men in her life, treating her like their little toy doll.